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Full text of "NightRider"


had been his name—had refused to get a hoe, and Bunk
Trevelyan had, without warning, struck him across the
mouth and nose, from which the Wood gushed suddenly,
unexpectedly bright and clean-looking in the inadequate star-
light. Then Trevelyan had twisted the man's arm hack,
saying, "You will, you bastard, will you?"

" Take your hands off," Mr. Munn had ordered.

Trevelyan had hesitated, still twisting the arm,

" Take your hands off that man, or 111 kill you where you
stand," Mr. Munn had said to Trevelyan in a perfectly
matter-of-fact tone. His stomach had felt like ice.

Trevelyan had released the man, mumbling something
under the strip of cloth that covered his face.

Mr. Munn had turned to the man and said, "Now get your
hoe, Mr. Trice, and let's get this thing over with." The man
had obeyed him*

That had happened, and now it happened again in his
mind as he lay there in the chair with his eyes closed and
the towels on his face and the sweedsh taste of steam on his
lips. That was inside his mind, was part of him, as he lay
there locked inside the darkness that was himself when he
closed his eyes. He could see himself standing there by the
stile, surrounded by men with the white cloth masks on their
faces, and Mr. Trice standing there. He could see himself
clearly, as if he were another person, a spectator. Another
person. The passage of time had made him another person,
a week's time. He himself, Percy Munn, lay there in the
barber's chair and another man was speaking those words
and performing those actions there by the stile, rehearsing
them all A man in his head. Then he thought how the
night may be, in truth, mirror to the day, returning the
reflection of a man's self to him twisted and confused and
almost unrecognizable like the reflection in a flawed, pocked,
and dirty glass, or in those contorting mirrors you see in tent
shows, or in disturbed water.

At the last meeting of the board in May, Captain Tod<i